Serve up this golden berry salad with some easy ingredients such as baby cucumbers and tomatoes for the perfect no-cook summer salad—the perfect accompaniment for heavier meals as sweetness and tartness help to balance out flavours and textures.
- Why You’ll Love This Salad
- What is Golden Berry?
- How to Eat Golden Berries?
- What Do Golden Berries Taste Like?
- Recipe Overview
- How to Make the Salad
- How to Make the Dressing
- How to Assemble the Salad
- Variations and Substitutions
- Great Mains for This Salad
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love This Salad
Chop, mix and serve! All done in under 15 minutes!
Take advantage of these lovely golden berries when they are in season to whip up a truly simple salad that’s great for so many occasions.
As the golden berries are tart, they are really good for cutting through full flavoured meals or lunches and dinners that feature proteins heavily. This salad with only raw ingredients such as baby cucumbers or cukes, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh marjoram herb will help cleanse those palates and give it a good refresh!
Besides, the golden berries look gorgeous. These round orange berries are vibrant and certainly know how to stand out in a crowd.
What is Golden Berry?
A golden berry is a round orange coloured fruit about the size of a cherry tomato. Its distinctive feature is that it is encased in a papery husk called a calyx, which looks like a cape. Hence it is also known as a cape gooseberry. The husk is not edible and is to be discarded before consumption.
The golden berry is native to South America, in particular Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. It is closely related to the tomatillo and belongs to the nightshade family.
Apart from cape gooseberry, the golden berry is also known by many other names around the world. The Egyptians call them harankash; the Hawaiian refer to them as poha, while the French has named them amour en cage, which means “love in a cage”. Trust the French to be so romantic!
Some other names include Inca berry, Aztec berry, giant ground cherry or Peruvian cherry.
Golden berries are very popular in their dried form and make for a great snack. They are also very popular as golden berry nutrition is right up there and are sometimes dubbed as a superfood. Like most fruits, they are healthy to eat and are rich in vitamin A, C and B complex.
How to Eat Golden Berries?
Just remove the outer papery husk and give them a quick rinse. Then just pop them in your mouth fresh! You would eat these golden berries as you would cherry tomatoes, so they are best eaten raw.
What Do Golden Berries Taste Like?
The flavour of a golden berry is quite unique, and not everyone’s cup of tea. It is acidic and therefore tart and tangy. It tastes like a tropical fruit such as pineapple and mango, with a touch of vanilla, yet it’s not overly sweet and is slightly savoury.
Flavour/Texture: Let the unique and complex flavours of the golden berry be the main taste of this recipe. As they are known to be slightly acidic and tangy, it does need something to help lift the overall balance of the recipe.
The sweetness from the heirloom tomatoes and balsamic glaze will help, while the shallots will give the salad a little zing.
Golden berries have the same texture as a cherry tomato, so they will pop in your mouth. You’ll also get juicy textures from the tomatoes and crunch from the cucumbers.
Ease: No cooking! Just cutting up ingredients and shaking salad dressing. Love these super easy salads when you don’t have to think!
Time: Just a quick 15 minutes or less. As there are no cooked components, there is very little prep to do. Really great when you don’t have time for anything more complicated or if you just can’t be bothered but need a good salad.
These are the ingredients you need for Baby Cucumber and Golden Berry Salad:
Golden berries: Let these gorgeous pops of tart and juicy golden berries do all the work for you in terms of flavour. They are so unique and make for such an interesting ingredient to use.
Get about 150g worth or about 3 punnets, depending on how they are sold. They don’t keep overly well, so best to get them the day before or even on the day if you’re able to. Fresh is best.
Heirloom tomatoes: Get a variety of shapes and sizes to allow for a more interesting presentation. The recipe calls for 6 heirloom tomatoes, but it does depend on the size. If they are really big, you can cut down to 4.
Shallot: A good-sized shallot will suffice. Slice them paper thin so that you can scatter them throughout the salad and get an even mix of shallots to the rest of the ingredients.
Marjoram: Love the aroma of fresh marjoram herb! Just pick the leaves off the stem to toss throughout the salad. Do keep some extra for garnish at the end.
Baby cucumber: For this salad, we’re using mini cucumbers or cukes. Or, as you would call them in Australia, qukes. They are incredibly popular for snacking as they are. Their size lends itself for easy prep and slicing. Perfect to match up in size with the golden berries.
Balsamic glaze: Love this sticky, sweet and tart concoction that seems to magically make everything taste better. We will need some for the salad dressing but do have some on the side in case you wish to drizzle a little extra on top of the salad.
Olive oil: Use good olive oil to make this balsamic glaze dressing.
Red wine vinegar: As the balsamic glaze is quite thick and sweet, it will need vinegar to make this a proper vinaigrette style dressing.
Salt and pepper: To taste
Follow these instructions for how to make Baby Cucumber and Golden Berry Salad.
How to Make the Salad
Remove the calyx (papery husk) off the golden berries, wash and pat dry. Then, cut half of them in half and leave the rest whole.
Slice the heirloom tomatoes.
Slice the shallots thinly.
Pick the leaves off the marjoram herb to yield 1 tbsp. Have some extra for garnish.
Slice baby cucumbers crossways.
How to Make the Dressing
In a small mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp balsamic glaze, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Mix until well combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
In a large mixing bowl, add the golden berries, shallots, marjoram, baby cucumber and half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss until well combined.
Place the slices of heirloom tomatoes on the serving platter. Drizzle the rest of the dressing.
Place the tossed salad on top of the tomatoes.
Serve with the other 2 tbsp of balsamic glaze on the side in case more is needed.
Variations and Substitutions
Golden berry substitute: If you can’t find golden berries, you can substitute with mini tomatillos, pearl tomatoes or a mixture of strawberries and raspberries. Nothing will quite replace these golden berries in terms of flavour as they are so unique, but these would work well as a salad.
Heirloom tomato alternative: If there aren’t any heirloom tomatoes available or they are a bit expensive, regular tomatoes will be fine to use.
No marjoram herb: No problem. Get some oregano instead.
Baby cucumber alternative: If mini cucumbers are not in season, just get a small cucumber and dice it up.
Balsamic glaze substitute: A great balsamic glaze substitute would be pomegranate molasses for flavour and consistency.
Great Mains for This Salad
What to serve with this Baby Cucumber and Gold Berry Salad? Here are some great mains:
Pasta with garlic and oil: This is one of the most simple yet satisfying dishes you can make! Spaghetti is tossed with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper flakes. Ready in just 15 minutes, just like this golden berry salad, they are perfect for a quick meal with minimal effort!
Smoky brown sugar & grainy mustard salmon: 10 minutes. That’s how long it takes to make this. TEN minutes!!! So when you need a quick dinner that really impresses, packs a ton of flavour, and is dead easy, this is your recipe. The mustard is zippy and so perfect paired with the sweet smokiness of the sugar and paprika. For a refreshing accompaniment, you can’t go past this no-cook golden berry salad with sliced heirloom tomatoes.
Chicken scallopini with mushroom cream sauce: Ready in 30 minutes, this Chicken Scallopini has thin tender chicken cutlets smothered in a creamy mushroom wine reduction sauce with capers and thyme. To help cut through the richness of the cream sauce, serve it up with this golden berry salad that doesn’t not require any cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
Marjoram is a perennial herb in the mint family and is grown in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Western Asia. For thousands of years, marjoram has been used for both medicinal and culinary uses.
This herb has light green, flat, oval leaves and is often mistaken for oregano. Some other names you may know of this herb include sweet marjoram, knotted marjoram, winter, sweet and joy of the mountains.
They are often used freshly as a herb and/or garnish in the spice mixture for making sausages in German and Polish cooking, while the dried version, which is more potent, is used a lot in sauces and meat dishes in Italian and Greek cuisines.
Marjoram has many interesting flavours. It is citrusy, delicate, pine-like aromas, warm and slightly bitter notes. It is also slightly floral on the nose, and its woody finishes are really good to use in recipes.
When available in abundance, they can be found in your local supermarkets. If not, try your fine greengrocer, albeit a bit more expensive or track them down at your farmer’s markets.
Showcase these gorgeous golden berries in the simplest of ways and serve them up with any main course you’ll be having. No doubt you’ll get a ton of compliments and yet another conversation starter for those unfamiliar with these berries.
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Baby Cucumber and Golden Berry Salad
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- Remove the calyx (papery husk) off the gold berries, wash and pat dry. Cut half of them in half and leave the rest whole.
- Slice the heirloom tomatoes.
- Slice the shallots thinly.
- Pick the leaves off the marjoram to yield 1 tbsp. Have some extra for garnish.
- Slice cucumbers crossways.
- In a small mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp balsamic glaze, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
- Mix until well combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the golden berries, shallots, marjoram, cucumber and half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss until well combined.
- Place the slices of heirloom tomatoes on the serving platter. Drizzle the rest of the dressing.
- Place the tossed salad on top of the tomatoes.
- Serve with the other 2 tbsp of balsamic glaze on the side in case more is needed.
- If you can’t find golden berries, you can substitute with mini tomatillos, pearl tomatoes or a mixture of strawberries and raspberries. Nothing will quite replace these golden berries in terms of flavour as they are so unique, but these would work well as a salad.
- If there aren’t any heirloom tomatoes available or they are a bit expensive, regular tomatoes will be fine to use.
- No marjoram? No problem. Get some oregano instead.
- If mini cucumbers are not in season, just get the smallest cucumber you can find and just dice them up.
- A great balsamic glaze substitute would be pomegranate molasses for flavour and consistency.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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